Prisons face security level questions

Capital News Service
LANSING — During the past five years, Michigan’s prison population has dropped by nearly 8,000 and 20 facilities have closed, leaving the Department of Correction with one question to answer: Where should it keep those who stay? Matching prisoners’ security risks to the appropriate facility has become a never-ending game. The department tracks the number of prisoners within the system, as well as their security rank — Level I presenting the lowest risk and Level IV presenting the highest — and adjusts its facilities accordingly. However, some experts question the accuracy of the department’s evaluation process. Inmates are evaluated annually — twice annually if they’re new to the system — to determine if they should be moved to a different security level facility or if they should stay put.